Distracted Driving In Ontario

Laws and Penalties for Distracted driving in Ontario

by Ultimate Drivers | 2 January 2023

Driving when distracted is frequently just as dangerous as drunk driving. When driving while texting, a person’s crash risk increases by 23 times. According to one study, driver inattention played a role in over 80% of incidents.

Despite the alarming numbers, almost three in four Canadians admit to using their phones while driving. You could believe that sending a text only takes a few seconds and isn’t a huge concern but it can be so dangerous that you can’t even imagine.

Let’s understand what is considered Distracted Driving.

Distracted driving involves more than just using a phone while driving a vehicle. When any distraction clouds your judgment and makes it impossible for you to drive properly, you are engaging in distracted driving.

Things that are considered distracted driving:

  •     Using a cell phone (talking, texting, or browsing the web).
  •     Watching videos.
  •     Eating, drinking, or smoking.
  •     Adjusting the radio or Listening to loud music.
  •     Grooming (shaving, brushing teeth, applying makeup).
  •     Talking with passengers

Although it is illegal to drive while distracted throughout Canada, each province and territory has its own set of laws, and as a result, punishments can vary substantially.
Driving while inattentive may result in penalties, penalty points, or even a suspension of your license, depending on where you live.

Ontario’s laws against distracted driving:

The number of distracted driving-related deaths in the province has risen since 2000.
The provincial government has instituted stringent penalties, such as a three-day license suspension, demerit points, and a sizable fine upon a first conviction, to put an end to this risky activity.

The usage of mobile devices is the main subject of Ontario’s law against distracted driving. It is prohibited to use a portable device while operating a motor vehicle or when stopped at a red light.
Additionally, using devices like tablets and portable gaming consoles, watching videos on screens, or setting up a GPS are all prohibited (except by voice commands).

Note:
1- You are only permitted to use your phone to dial 911 in an emergency.
2- You are permitted to use a Bluetooth or earpiece-equipped hands-free wireless device.
3- It’s also acceptable to watch a GPS display screen as long as it is fastened securely to the dashboard of your automobile or is integrated into the dashboard.

Penalties In Ontario:

  • Be cautious when contesting a ticket for distracted driving.
  • If you go to court and lose after your first conviction, you could receive a fine of up to $1,000.
  • For repeat offenders who contest and lose, the fine can increase to $2,000 for the second offense and $3,000 for the third.
If found guilty of careless driving (any distractions that put other road users at risk), you might receive six demerit points, pay a fine of up to $2,000, spend up to six months in jail, and have your license suspended for up to two years.
Criminal sanctions for dangerous driving are more severe and can include jail terms of up to 10 years for harm or up to fourteen years for death.

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